Craig Baird scored his second CAMS Australian GT Championship race win of the Australian Grand Prix weekend, leading the field to victory in a Safety Car hit encounter.
Baird led the race from the start to finish, taking advantage of clear track and vision in the wet conditions ahead of Marcel Fassler (Jamec Pem Audi R8) and John Martin (Walkinshaw Racing Porsche 911 GT3-R).
While the series usually employs rolling starts, the soaked conditions forced officials to run the field under Safety Car conditions for the first two laps of the race.
Baird, in the #222 Scott Taylor Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT, led the field through the first green flag lap, with the pack well behaved in the tricky conditions.
Fassler made a half-hearted attempted to pass Maranello Motorsport’s Giancarlo Fisichella, before the 2005 Australian Grand Prix winner used his experience at the track to hold off the attack around Turn 5.
The Audi driver passed Fisichella on the main straight on lap before trying to reel in Baird, with the Kiwi building a 2.9s advantage early on.
While Baird and Fassler starred in the wet, Jan Jinadasa was the first to fall foul of the conditions, with his Lamborghini off the track at Turn 8 on the first racing lap.
Martin moved his Porsche past Fisichella’s Ferrari 488 one lap later before a mid-race Safety Car on the fifth lap was brought out to clear the Audi R8 of backmarker Ash Samadi, who came to grief at Turn 10.
The vehicle was unable to be recovered in time, forcing the race to be shortened to eight laps, with Baird taking the chequered flag under Safety Car conditions.
Steve Richards took his Team SRM BMW M6 to fifth place in the wet ahead of Dominic Storey in the Eggleston Motorsport Mercedes-AMG GT and Fraser Ross’s McElrea Racing McLaren 650S.
Dean Canto was a big mover in the few racing laps, taking his Trofeo Motorsport Lamborghini Huracan from 12th to eighth.
Race 2 winner Jaie Robson (Aussie Driver Search Mercedes-AMG) was ninth.
Nick Kelly was the top finishing car in the Trophy Class Audi R8 in 10th outright, while Justin McMillan claimed GT4 in the KTM X-Bow in 25th.
Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli Asia Pacific
Rama Danindro won the opening Ferrari Challenge race, which was run in the rain.
Indonesia’s Danindro finished two seconds up the road from pole-sitter James Weiland and Renaldi Hutsoit.
The conditions caused havoc throughout the race, with Safety Cars early and late in the piece.
Australia’s Martin Berry finished seventh and New Zealander Grant Baker 22nd, while the other Kiwi David Dicker was a DNF.
Results: Race 3, Australian GT Championship
|1||222||Scott Taylor Motorsport||Craig Baird (NZ)||Mercedes AMG GTS GT3||CH||8||26:34.1818|
|2||1||Valvoline||Marcel Fassler||Audi R8 LMS||CH||8||26:34.5046|
|3||911||Walkinshaw GT3||John Martin (QLD)||Porsche 911 GT3 R||CH||8||26:35.1092|
|4||88||Maranello Motorsport||Giancarlo Fisichella||Ferrari 488 GT3||CH||8||26:35.5508|
|5||100||BMW Team SRM||Steve Richards (VIC)||BMW M6 GT3||CH||8||26:36.4060|
|6||63||Eggleston Motorsport||Dominic Storey (NZ)||Mercedes Benz AMG GT||CH||8||26:36.8009|
|7||59||Total Oil/Opti-Coat/Logite||Fraser Ross (VIC)||McLaren 650S GT3||CH||8||26:37.3887|
|8||98||Aussie Driver Search||Jaie Robson||Mercedes AMG GTS GT3||CH||8||26:38.5417|
|9||199||Industrie Clothing||Nick Kelly (NSW)||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||TR||8||26:39.5455|
|10||7||Mariani Beef Jerky||Tony Quinn (QLD)||McLaren 650S GT3||CH||8||26:39.9663|
|11||24||Moveitnet/AFS||Daniel Gaunt (NZ)||Audi R8 LMS||CH||8||26:40.5919|
|12||23||Kentucky Fried Chicken||Matthew Stoupas (VIC)||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||TR||8||26:41.5391|
|13||188||E.A.T Furniture||Rio Nugara (VIC)||Audi R8 LMS Ultra||TR||8||26:43.0854|
|14||34||Motorsport Leasing/RaceRamps||John Marriss (VIC)||Porsche GT3-R||TR||8||26:45.5505|
|15||21||Melbourne Orthopaedic Group||Shane Barwood (VIC)||Porsche 991 GT3 Cup||TR||8||26:46.5797|
|16||10||Hallmarc||Michael Loccisano||Porsche 991 GT3 Cup||TR||8||26:47.7777|
|17||31||The Porsche Broker||Sam Fillmore||Porsche 991 GT3 Cup||TR||8||26:49.0845|
|18||71||Dale Paterson Motorsports||Dale Paterson||Chevrolet Camaro GT3||TR||8||26:49.4367|
|19||48||Interlloy M Motorsport||Justin McMillan (VIC)||KTM X-Bow||GT4||8||26:51.5693|
|20||29||Haemokinesis/Trofe||Dean Canto||Lamborghini Huracan||CH||8||26:52.9719|
|21||64||Aaron Laboratories||Joseph Ensabella (VIC)||Porsche 997 GT3 Cup||TR||8||26:53.1878|
|22||25||Porsche Centre Brighton||Nick Karnaros (VIC)||Porsche 997 Cup||TR||8||26:54.8763|
|23||4||BP Ultimate||Xavier West||BMW M4 GT4||GT4||8||26:55.8500|
|24||12||Sedler Group||Luke Seidler (VIC)||Porsche 991 GT3 Cup||TR||8||26:57.3332|
|25||67||JMG/Bilstein||Jeremy Gray (NSW)||Aston Martin Vantage||GT4||8||26:59.2327|
|26||19||Hogs Breath Cafe/Griffith Co||Mark Griffith (QLD)||Ginetta GT4||GT4||8||26:59.4095|
|27||47||Mack Bros Roofing Products||Wayne Mack (VIC)||Ferrari 458 GT3||TR||8||27:00.6591|
|28||32||The Porsche Broker||Daniel Stutterd||Porsche 991 GT3 Cup||TR||8||27:07.2332|
|DNF||3||Ah Apartments||Ash Samadi (VIC)||Audi R8 LMS||CH||3||10:16.5636|
|DNF||77||JJA Consulting Group||Jan Jinadasa||Lamborghini LP560GT3||TR||2||7:47.0143|